July 17, 2009

The TRUE meaning of NO-KILL Part II

The TRUE meaning of NO-KILL

Let me quote a 2005 PETA newsletter article, to demonstrate how many "no-kill shelters operate:



"One day last June, a Pennsylvania man tried to turn his dog over to a “no-kill”
shelter—one that chooses not to euthanize animals. He was told to come back two
weeks later when the shelter might have room. The man grabbed his dog, got in
his pick-up truck, and left. At the first intersection, he threw the dog out of
the truck and ran over him, crushing the dog beneath the tires. Shelter workers,
who wouldn’t help the dog before he died, collected his remains.

‘No-Kill’ or ‘No-Clue’? “No-kill” animal shelters should really be called
“leave-the-killing-to-someone-else” shelters."

Ironically, PETA does support euthanasia.

It is an extremely difficult issue, with solid arguments on both sides. While working to alleviate animal suffering following September 2007’s devestating 8.2 Richter Earthquake and resulting Tsunami, I had to face this issue head on. Many animals suffered back injuries or multiple broken bones. Many animals were sick prior to the Earthquake, and we had nowhere to place them. During that time, for the first time, I was faced with the euthanasia of multiple animals.
These animals, free from their pain and suffering, did not free my conscience. I still remember the dedicated local volunteers that carefully carried the animal remains to a back garden of one clinic space. We were assured the government would dig a large hole, at least 10 feet deep, to dispose of these animals in the most environmentally safe manner available.

Near the end of the day somebody opened a curtain facing the outside garden area. I was faced with wheelbarrows full of euthanized animals, and my heart broke. Yet in this situation, there were no options.

Years ago I had the opportunity to purchase 2.2 acres of prime property of the Itaya river. The Itaya is a ributary of the Amazon and the water is much cleaner there. We are fortunate to have plenty of space for animals. Our only restriction is having funds to support these animals.

Many no-kill shelters say they won't euthanize any "adoptable" dog. Often, dogs need medical treatment. Sometimes even minor treatment. Yet shelters won't or can't expend the resources, and these animals are euthanized.

There are many breed restrictions. These animals are euthanized.

If a pet is older, he is likely to be euthanized.

If the pet exhibits behavorial problems (often developed during their stay at a shelter), the pet will be euthanized.

Amazon Community Animal Rescue and Safty is very committed to our "No-Kill" policy. Best Friends Rapid Response Manager, Rich Crook, visited CARES and actually gave our program a name. He called it a "Lifetime Resident Program." Most of our animals have suffered abuse, trauma, life on the street and a daily struggle to survive. It is always amazing to see the trust and love these animals want to give after being rescued.

Sadly, some animals can't regain this trust. They prefer the company of other animals to people, and they happily run free on our 2.2 acre animal sanctuary, where the kennels are rarely locked.
Some animals have recurring conditions for which they will always need monitoring. These animals become lifetime residents. One such animal was set on fire. Eventually, wiry white hair grew back, but scars are still apparent, and she requires special skin treatments every two weeks.

Transmissable venereal tumors (TVT's) are very common in Iquitos. These tumors are treated with cancer drugs which are very expensive. We never hesitate to treat these cases, even when the chance of survival are slim, and despite the cost of these medicines. These animals are not euthanized unless their quality of life is low and they are suffering.

These animals become part of our family. As long as they live comfortably and have a good quality of life, they will never experience euthanasia.

I do want to make it clear that at times euthanasia is required. This occurs when a pet suffers from Distemper or another highly contagious disease. I am no longer allowed to be in the room when euthanasia must be performed. I cry and I try to comfort the animal, and end up making the veterinary staff nervous and sad. Yet I never forget a single animal.

To me - THIS is the TRUE definition of No-Kill. - Molly Mednikow

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